Popularity of TV show boosts stores as fans hunt for household inspiration

Wall art, planters and anything from a vintage junk shop featured on The Block NZ have been selling out as fans of the show take inspiration from - or outright mimic - the reality home renovation show contestants.

Home decor stores around Auckland are seeing a "Block Effect", where customers come into their stores especially to purchase items, or those like them, featured on the popular show.

The Block NZ is a reality show that follows four couples - Jo and Damo Neal, Alex and Corban Walls, Quinn and Ben Alexandre and Maree Wright and James Steele - who are tasked with renovating houses in Pt Chevalier in the hope of keeping profits generated once the properties are sold at auction.

Demand for the items is evident on social media, with viewers routinely asking for advice on The Block NZ Facebook page.

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"Does anyone know where that really cool second-hand shop is that they always at? I really want to go there," asked Sophie Melrose.

Mel Peita wrote: "Other than J&D, what other shops do you people shop at? Currently in Auckland and would like to go to one of the shops that Alex was in but can't make out which store it was."

J&D refers to Junk and Disorderly in Northcote, one store to benefit from the show. It stocks everything from taxidermy and old books to pot plants and furniture and has featured on the show regularly this season. The store's name was not mentioned on air - but word soon spread on social media and co-owner Nicole Stewart said custom has increased 25 per cent as a result.

"[This week] has been the third or fourth time we have been on this season and it has just been manic ever since the first airing.

"We sell everything, but they do buy things they see being used there - the wooden ladders, the cloud planters and the plants themselves."

Mrs Stewart said she was amazed how religiously people followed the show.

"People come down and the contestant might be here and they are having photos with them ... it's quite mind-blowing."

In Mt Eden, interior design megastore Bloc has also become a hot destination for couples who visited the Collected, Father Rabbit, Citta, Douglas and Bec and BoConcept stores.

Interiors expert LeeAnn Yare, who runs Collected from the Normanby Rd premises, said the show drove sales.

"Yes, we've been busy. There is a surge on some specific products that have featured. The contestants come into all the stores all the time."

Wall decals and art prints from her store were especially popular, she said.

Nicky Walsh, who runs Curate.co.nz, a website that collates products from a vast range of online stores, said items from The Block NZ were popular. "There are some real fans out there. If someone sees a particular chair or piece of art that a contestant uses people want to buy the exact same one."

The Block screens on TV3 from Tuesday to Friday.